Synopses & Reviews
If our world can be divided into three parts--sea, land, and sky--the sea is, of the three, the most alien and mysterious. Characterized by movement and change, by random patterns of light and dark, by transcendental calm and tempestuous anger, the sea assaults our senses and stokes our imagination.
A spectacular portfolio, Peter Neill's On a Painted Ocean contains images from around the world that revel in the visual language of the ocean. Captured in this full-color volume are some of the great classics, and undiscovered treasures, of maritime art. The work of the 17th and 18th century Dutch and English masters are featured alongside a number of less familiar works, many heretofore outside the established marine tradition. Sculpted figures from Africa, painted bowls from ancient Greece, wall murals from pre-Columbian Mexico, tomb decorations from Egypt, and manuscripts from Arabia join the European masters in evoking the force and beauty of the sea. The book's essays take readers from exploration to war, from conflict to commerce, from sustenance to trade, from wreck to technological revolution, examining along the way historical depictions and folk tales, chronicles of endurance, some celebrations, and many tragedies.
For anyone who has ever set sail or merely admired the oceans and its vessels from shore, On a Painted Ocean will instill a greater appreciation of the maritime world.
On a Painted Ocean - Art of the Seven Seas, is a book that boldly sets forth for our consideration, enjoyment and edification more than 150 maritime images that take the reader on a cultural and philosophical voyage that circumnavigates the globe. The images in this remarkable volume comprise a subjective choice of marine art selected from world culture. In it, we find the terrible beauty of storms, the stark horror of war, the exotic interplay in ports of call, the efficiency and interdependence of ocean commerce, the cornucopia of the sea's bounty and the spirit of challenge, adventure, achievement and innovation that characterizes humankind's relationship with the sea through the ages. From the artifacts of the past to the abstractions of the present, the book includes some stirringly familiar masterpieces, and it also showcases lesser-known and often-dazzling works that broaden our notion of the maritime genre. There are images that memorialize events, and objects from the mundane to the esoteric such as an ancient Greek bowl, an illustration from a classic sea novel, tapestries, maps, illuminated manuscripts, advertising ephemera and even a birth certificate. On a Painted Ocean is bound together as an unfolding whole by Peter Neill's short, compelling essays. These tracts are both philosophical and poetic, affecting in their beauty and insight.
Under the rule of Saddam Hussein, the prison of Abu Ghraib (the Father of the Raven) was a place of ill omen, notorious for horrific suffering and torture and mass executions. After the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. military made Abu Ghraib one of the major detention centers for Iraqis suspected of sympathizing with the resistance. The revelations since April 2004 of systematic torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib have not easily been assimilated into the mythology of the U.S. “war on terror.”
The Language of Empire focuses on the response to these revelations in the U.S. media, in congress, and in the larger context of U.S. global politics and ideology. Its focus on the media is a prelude to showing how the language of multiculturalism, humanitarianism, and even feminism have been hijacked in the cause of an illegal and brutal imperialist war.
The media have colluded with the Bush administration in manipulating images of the U.S. occupation of Iraq in such a way as to present it as a clash between civilization and barbarism, and in selectively using legal and procedural issues to distract from the basic criminality of the invasion itself. The circuitous logic through which U.S. imperialism presents itself as a defender of legality and democracy is exposed for all to see in this important and timely work.
About the Author
Walter Cronkite, 1916 - Regarded by the public as "the most trusted man in America"before he retired as anchor of the CBS Evening News in 1981, Walter Cronkite started out as a newspaperman, moved over to radio, and then shifted into television in the early days, becoming one of the pioneers who helped create television journalism. Cronkite was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but grew up in Kansas City and Houston, Texas. He decided to become a reporter while still in high school, and in college worked part-time for the Houston Post, a paper he joined full-time after leaving the University of Texas. From 1940 to 1949, he reported for the United Press wire service. One of the first journalists accredited to cover World War II, Cronkite accompanied Allied forces on the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. At the end of the war, he became UP's bureau chief in Moscow and then its chief correspondent at the Nuremburg war crimes trials. After returning to the United States in 1948, he covered Washington, D.C., for a group of radio stations before joining CBS, where he remained for the rest of his career, first working on various news programs and then, in 1962, becoming anchor of the CBS Evening News. Over the years, Cronkite's assured professionalism in covering such important stories as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the moon landing of Apollo II (staying on the air 24 hours to do so), the Vietnam War, and the Watergate scandal won him numerous awards, including several Emmies, the Peabody Award (1962), the William A. White Journalism Award (1969), and the George Polk Award (1971), and gained him great credibility with the public. He twice visited Vietnam during the war, and, after the Tet offensive in 1968, candidly questioned the rationale for American involvement and the U.S. military's prospects for victory. Cronkite has continued to work on special projects for CBS since his retirement.